Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Pray From Your Heart~ October 8, 2013

Last night we started back up our life group meetings here in our home.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically a small group that gathers to discuss the sermon from the previous week but even more than that, we do life together.  We hold each other accountable, help one another and have committed to be “on call” should anyone in the group need us no matter the time of day.

I love these people.  They are my family and I value them more than they will ever know.

Two things stand out to me from last nights meeting.

The first was an act of service.  We were gifted a fridge from another precious family in our church.  That in and of itself was a God thing!  It was sitting in the dining room and as we were breaking for the evening, one of our members offered to help us swap out the new for the old AND haul off the old one!  Without any hesitation, everyone got to work.  The ladies and I emptied the contents of the fridge and the men got to sweatin’.  Now maybe you are a better housekeeper than me, but for those of you normal folks, I am sure you can imagine how the floor where the fridge once lied looked….fuzz anyone?  My sisters hit their knees, in their nice clothes, and started scrubbing.  That is love.

The other moment that I keep replaying was during our prayer time.  For that part of the night, we bring in all of the children as well.  We had 11 kiddos present & we were outnumbered!  Everyone gets an opportunity to give their prayer requests and as I am sure you can imagine, 5 year old girls will talk as long as given the floor.  So let’s just say we had a lengthy list.  To wrap it up I looked at hubs and said, “pray us out!”  He looked at me and responded with, “uh…”  That is when sweet, blond-headed, middle school child who does not belong to me looked at him and said, “It’s ok, Jamie, just pray from your heart.”

I melted.  Out of the mouths of babes.

Two vital, biblical lessons were displayed here last night.

First, use what God has given you, right where you are at to be of service to others.  You don’t have to be an eloquent speaker to show God’s love.  Take whatever unique gift He has blessed you with and use it to glorify His name.

 “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”

(1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT)

Lesson number 2, pray from a heart that yearns for God letting the Holy Spirit guide you.  Nowhere in the bible does it say your prayers have to be poetic.  But they must be sincere.

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.  Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”

(Matthew 6:7-8 NLT)

I thank God for these groupies who are walking in obedience to the Lord.  I pray that each one of you would be blessed with a group of friends to do life with.  Having godly friends to help shoulder your burdens is one of the greatest gifts our Father has given us.  He created us to need one another, don’t shy away from that.GEM

 

~Goody-Goody Is A Bad Thing?~ September 25, 2013

hurt peopleRecently I was talking to a young lady who is oftentimes ridiculed for being a “goody goody” and it made me think of so many other young people who are made to feel ashamed for being good Christians.  What kind of a messed up world are we living in when those who live righteously are mocked?  When did it become acceptable to belittle someone based solely on the fact that they have chosen a life that lines up with the Word as opposed to submitting to the pressure that the world places on them to conform?

This is not exclusive to our children.  Many adults are faced with this same trouble.  Friends poke fun behind their backs because they don’t participate in the same “recreational” activities or refuse to follow the crowd.

Well, the good news is, those who are being mocked right now…you are in the same shoes that Jesus once walked.  So let people laugh and make fun.  Recall to mind the words of your childhood, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!”  Don’t respond to their attacks in anger, but with gentleness and grace.  It has been my experience that people make fun of what they don’t understand.  So make it a point to show them the way to the same Jesus that you serve by not retaliating.  After all, if you seek vengeance, are you really any different than the rest of the world?

 “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”  But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.   For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

(1 Peter 3:13-17 NIV)